Autism and sociopaths

There is a lot of talk about sociopaths these days, mostly in reference to politicians.  A sociopath is someone who has empathy, who knows exactly what they are doing and how it will effect/affect others.  They just don’t care.  They will work behind the scenes and wreak havoc in everyone’s life.  You will not see them coming.  They will be nice to your face and still be working behind your back to destroy whatever your working on in order to get what they want.  If you get between them and what they want, whether you realize it or not. you will find yourself flat on your face and not know how you got there.  They will make it look like it’s your fault, like you deserved it.  You did, you got in their way. They will play games with your mind and emotions until you are doubting yourself and your decisions.  They will not only think about what they’re doing, but will plot against you.  They will not care how it makes you feel even though they know exactly how it does make you feel,  because it will always be your fault and they will never take responsibility

Someone who is autistic does not have empathy.  They understand things only with the information that they feel, how whatever it is makes them feel.  They do not know how it will make you feel.  They have no filter in their frontal lobe and will blurt out anything that comes into their head.  They will act upon anything that comes into their head.  They do not understand that whatever that is may have consequences.  They do not understand what come next, they do not understand that if they say something inappropriate, it may have consequences.  Not so good consequences.  They will not understand that until those consequences happen and it is too late to take it back or think about it.  They will not think about things before they act on them, often times getting themselves into trouble.  They do not understand that they may have just insulted you because to them they were just saying what they thought.  They were just expressing their opinion.  Even though they are usually highly intelligent, they have no common sense.  There are differing degrees of autism, from highly functioning, what used to be called Aspergers to profound that usually has other problems with it.   Either way they do not think before the respond, they just respond.

Most of us have a lot of things that go through our minds  everyday.  Most of us have a filter through which those things flow.  A filter that allows us to choose which things we will act upon or say and which things we will keep to ourselves.  A filter that allows us to think before we respond.  Most of us care whether or not we’ve hurt another person with what we’ve said or done.  Most of us will stop ourselves from saying or doing things that are inappropriate and hurting others with our actions or comments.  Most of us will not plot behind someone;s back to destroy them without caring whether or not we’ve done so.  There is nothing any of us can do about what the other person is saying or doing, we can only hold them accountable for their actions and words, like everyone else in the universe.  Hopefully we will all learn from what has happened and strive to not do it again.  The following link will hep you to relax while you are letting go of those things other people say or do without thought for you or others.

Here is the link. Enjoy!  

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Loving and not liking

We can love a lot of people.  We can love them in different ways.  We love our parents, whether they were good parents or not.  We love our siblings, whether they are good to us or not.  We can love our spouse, partner, children, friends, neighbors or church community.  We don’t always like them, what they do or who they are at times.  There is a separation between loving someone and liking everything that they do.  It is possible to love someone with all of your heart and not like them because of what they are doing to you or the other people in their lives.  This happens a lot when you’re dealing with dysfunction. You will love the person for who they were before the dysfunction began, love them for the person they  would have been if they did not become dysfunctional.  You don’t have to like the fact that they are stealing things from you to hock for money to buy their addictive substance or thing.  You don’t have to like the fact that  they create drama or lie to you or try to manipulate you into giving them money.  It is also okay to love them without conditions.  It is okay to put distance between you and them to save them from themselves or to stop yourself from enabling them.  Like all things you will have to let go of the fear of losing them.  You’ve already lost them, they are not themselves nor will they be if they continue to be dysfunctional.  They will not find themselves, hit their bottom or know that they need to change if someone is there catching them or saving them from their mistakes or poor choices.  You cannot save them and it is okay if you love them from a distance and not like what they are doing to themselves, others or you.  Letting go is never easy especially if you love someone.  The following link will help you to let go of those thing that are no longer working for you or them.

Here is the link. Enjoy!

Taking things personally

There is a difference between being too sensitive and taking things personally.  Being too sensitive means that you may pick up on things that are in the air.  Peoples moods, responses, reactions to situations or people.  That usually means you are intuitive and have pretty strong gut feelings about things that happen in your life.  Or the people who come into your life and their feelings.  Listening to and acting upon those gut feelings can be tricky if you don’t have any facts to back them up.  They can sometimes be wrong or based upon the persons own thoughts, feelings and life experiences, projected upon another.  It is then a matter of owning the fact that they are your thoughts and feelings and doing something about them without projecting them on to someone else.

Taking things personally is about feeling someone else’s bad mood and thinking it is about you.  Thinking that it is you that has caused it.  Feeling bad about having done it.  Trying to figure out what it is that you’ve done to make them be in a bad mood.  Taking responsibility for their bad mood and making it yours, trying to make them feel better because it must be you that put them in a bad mood.  It doesn’t occur to you that they might just be in a bad mood because something outside of you, caused it.  Something they or someone else did caused it.  That not everything is your responsibility.  That not everything is about you. Sometimes people are in bad moods just because something is going on in their lives that you know nothing about right now.

Projecting your thoughts and feelings on to someone else, as well as taking responsibility for other people’s moods comes from being raised in dysfunction.  Like most things in life, the behavior can change.  Changing any behavior takes 3 weeks of constantly catching yourself doing it and replacing it with another one.  It then takes another 3 weeks of practicing that new behavior to make that a habit.  You will have to let go of those things that caused you to think that way to begin with,  those things from your past that led you to think that everything was about you, your responsibility, your fault or not your fault but someone else’s and therefore projected blame on to them.  Those things will hold you back in the future, create problems for you in the present and the future.  The following link will help you to let go of what is no longer working for you and getting in the way of moving forward.

Here is the link. Enjoy!

Every behavior ha a reason

For a very long time I was a Behavior Specialist Consultant and in charge of a BHRS (Behavioral Health Rehabilitative Services) program.  The program went into homes and schools and community .  As BSC, Mobile Therapist or TSS (Therapeutic Staff Support) the job was to look into behaviors that were causing the person, a child and their family,  problems.  They would then set up interventions to help the family, school and child change the offending behavior.  As a BSC I was involved in the first FBA (Functional Behavioral Assessment) class given in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  The goal of this assessment is to find the function of the behavior.  It is to find what purpose the behavior serves this person, child.  What does the person get when they do this behavior.  An example of this would be as follows:  A child in a local school was acting out, getting into trouble every day about 9:30 to 9:45 every morning.  At first they thought maybe he was hungry, so they tried to give him a breakfast bar as soon as he got off the bus.  When that didn’t work they tried to make sure he had time before the other kids got to the classroom to talk with the school counselor.  The behavior continued.  The school asked for a BSC to come and do an FBA.  An FBA asks a lot of questions to a lot of people and observes a lot of behavior.  It is best if the child doesn’t know why you’re there and will continue to be themselves.  The FBA takes hours of observation and asking questions to teachers, friends and family.  The result of this particular FBA was that the child was getting out of math class.  He would begin to act out about 9:30 to 9:45 AM and get sent to the principle office just in time to get out of going to math class.  He was willing to do this every day for the entire year, just to get out of going math.  He didn’t understand it and the other kids in the class would make fun of him because he didn’t.  He would rather get into trouble then be made fun of for not understanding math.  The school was asked to find an aid for this child and help him to understand math before placing him back in the math classroom.  The behaviors that got him into trouble every morning at about 9:30 to 9:45 AM stopped.  He never like math but, he began to go to class without incident.

It is not just children who do not understand math, that have a reason for their behavior.  Everything that we do as humans, has a purpose.  Has a reason for doing it.  Some of those reasons are good and some not so good.  Some are self-serving and some an altruistic.  Some are mindful and some are totally unconscious.  Whatever the reason or motive behind the behaviors we exhibit, there are consequences  Whether we are being self-serving or not we will need to become aware of the purpose behind our behaviors and make sure we know why we’re doing what we’re doing.  Becoming aware of the purpose/motive behind our behavior may lead us to some not very comfortable places and or consequences.  Like everything else we will need to let go of those things and feelings.  The following link will help you to do just that,

Here is the link. Enjoy!

The more I know

During my many years of doing therapy I have often come in contact with people who are looking for answers for their life.  They come into therapy looking for those answers.  They think that the therapist has them and sometimes insist that they reveal them instantly.  They become angry because the therapist isn’t telling them much of anything, they’re asking more questions than they’re answering.  Any therapist worth their salt, will not tell you what to do.  They will try to figure out what you are comfortable with doing and then encourage that.  They will not allow you to let them make the decision for you and your life.  They will try to feel you out to see what you are willing to do, what you want to do, but maybe do not have the courage yet to do.  They will help you to make a plan for whatever that might be and then encourage you to do it.  They will encourage you to make decisions that will move you forward in your life and get you unstuck from where you are when you first come into therapy.  They will encourage you to have faith in the decisions that you make so you can stop looking to others to make them for you.  They will teach you a process for the decisions that you do make.  They will have faith in you and the choices that you make.  They will be your cheerleader if you fail and encourage you to stand back up when you fall.  They will teach you to learn from those mistakes instead of looking at them as only failures and allowing them to stop you.

I have been doing therapy since 1985 and have learned a lot in that time.  The most significant thing is that the more I know, the more I realize I don’t now.  The more I realize I need to learn.  Encouraging people to have faith in their own knowledge of who and what they are, in the decisions that they make for themselves, teaching them to view mistakes as learning experiences is easy.  It requires knowing that you don’t know everything and probable never will.  It requires accepting that fact and being happy with it.  It requires doing the best you can with every situation.  It requires letting go of the need to know everything and learn those same things that you’re teaching others.  The following link will help you to let go of those things that are holding you back.

Here is the link. Enjoy!

Respecting others

There’s a lot of talk these days about respecting women and teaching boys early to respect them.  Teaching them that they are not weaker then men and are just as important.  Teaching boys that they cannot just take what they want, but ask.  Even though I agree with that mentality, I also think that we should teach children in general to respect each other.  Teach boys to respect girls and other boys, girls to respect boys and other girls.  Teach girls to not accept the disrespect that is sometimes offered as courtesy.  Teach boys that they do not always have to be tough and that “manning up” doesn’t mean being tough, it means being responsible for their actions.  Teach girls that it is okay to have boys open doors or other respectful things without thinking they are weaker because of it. Teach boys and girls to do that for each other just because they are being courteous.  Teach boys and girls that being physically strong is not everything.  That being emotionally strong is just as important.  Teach girls that they do not need to compete with each other for a boys attention.  Teach boys and girls that they will have to earn respect from each other because of who they are,  instead of it being because they are physically stronger than someone else.  Teach boys and girls that they should be valuing  each other because of their individual character traits and not only the physical characteristics.  That being attracted to someone is just the beginning of the relationship and that the rest is very hard work sometimes, and often times a choice to continue.  Letting go of the stereotypes that we teach our children about the opposite sex and encouraging them to value each for the human qualities that we can respect in each other is a first step.  The following link will help you to let go of what is not working anymore and replace it with something new.

Here is the link. Enjoy!

Knowing and guessing

Have you ever had someone tell you what your thinking and / or feeling?  It usually comes from someone who loves you, a family member, friend or co-worker.  Someone who is supposed to want what is best for you.  They don’t ask you what your thinking or feeling, they tell you and they are usually wrong.  It is usually the last thing that you’re thinking and feeling.  It is usually something that would never occur to you, but apparently has occurred to them.  Sometimes though, there is a friend or family member who actually hears you, asks questions or knows you well enough to let you now what they think without telling you what you are thinking.  Either way, you learn something, about yourself or the person that is telling you what you’re thinking or feeling.  You just have to figure it out.  You have to know yourself well enough to know if what you’re hearing is something you would actually think or feel.  You have to be able to reject what is being said or accept it without reservation.  You have to be able to live with whatever is being said about you.  You have to do this without anger, because anger would indicate that there is something to what is being said. If there is anger, you might want to look at why that is, why your response is an angry one.  Anger is an indication that something that was said hit a little too close to home.  Otherwise is wouldn’t have mattered, it would have been something that you thought about without any emotional response at all.  It would have been something that told you more about the person saying it, then it did about what you were actually thinking or feeling.  You would have easily dismissed it as being unimportant.  As well-intentioned as some of our loved ones are, sometimes you have to wonder if they know you at all.  Sometimes you have to love them no matter what they say or reveal about themselves and try to put on you.  You will have to let go of the fact that maybe your loved ones don’t know you as well as you thought, or they thought.  Sometimes you have to let go of the fact that you have to examine the anger that is caused by what someone else might say and figure out why you’re angry.  The following link will help you to let go of what other people think and feel and help you to concentrate on what you think and eel.

 

Here is the link. Enjoy!